Wonderland introduce you to seven of the best from this year’s Mastered cohort.
As you probably already know, Mastered’s talent programmes are all about plugging emerging creatives from all over the world into a global network of knowledgeable industry insiders. Alongside Nick Knight (who heads up the photography programme) big names such as Virgil Abloh and Katie Hillier are also involved in some of the many projects under the Mastered banner. In real terms, most of the teaching goes on through live-streamed Q&A and exclusive video-tutorials and then there are enviable creative opportunities that have – on the photography platform – included shooting opportunities with Anna Trevelyan and Erin O’Connor. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Mastered here at Wonderland, anything that fosters the next-generation of creative talent in the industry is a good thing: especially as Mastered finds creatives not just from traditional fashion capitals like London and Milan, but also seeks them out from sometimes unrepresented cities and scenes. Below, we take a closer look at seven of the programmes brightest talents – we’re bound to see more from them in the future.
CHIARA PREDEBON (Milan, Italy)
Inspired primarily by youth and adolescence and the sense of honesty, fragility and fearlessness that goes with it, Chiara’s work has a focus on subcultures, unconventional beauties and a kind of kitsch, girly aesthetic. Her interest in photography began at university, when her boyfriend gave her an analogue camera and she began organising shoots with her closest pals as models. The above image was shot in Hong Kong as part of a special editorial for ‘Somewhere Nowhere’ – a brand that fits her style and aesthetic like a dream.
ELIZABETH ALEX (Melbourne, Australia)
Elizabeth is preoccupied with two thing: colour and feminism. “How I’m feeling about feminism and femininity often shapes the direction my work takes.” she has explained. Her work is quirky and fun and pretty, yet has a gentle way of telling the viewer something isn’t quite as it seems. Here, Elizabeth describes her intention as wanting to “create something dream like, with the idea of seeing the world through rose tinted glasses – to show something that’s idealistic, and how that’s unrealistic, yet still beautiful.”
DAVID PD HYDE (London, UK)
David is interested in the power of narrative, finding stories, moods and emotions during the “image making process”. His photography story started during his time at university, where he so fell in love with the form that he decided to switch courses to study it full time – something that taught him to approach photography “with a different perspective which I feel is more truthful, creating a narrative and at the same time looking at personal identity and the inner emotion.” The above photo aptly demonstrates his fondness for the “bizarre”, saying, “while in the field, I saw how [Megan’s] dress flowed and then suddenly I had this image in my mind where I imagined her being free, then I asked Megan to lift the top layer of her dress over her head. Then this image was made.”
TANIA KEZHA (Minsk, Belarus)
Like so many things in our millennial age, it started with a selfie for Tania: “I borrowed a camera from a friend, took a couple of self-portraits, downloaded them to Flickr and the “likes” began to pour down on me.” From there, her love of fashion led her to pursue a career full time, no easy decision in her native Belarus as demand isn’t high for professional fashion photographers. Eventually though, the risk paid off, and after picking up traction for her work on social media, Tania is now able to make a living from her “intuitive”, colour rich and emotion-led work.
ASIA WERBEL (London, UK)
Asia describes her photography as “quietly observational, documentary-style [and] non conformist”, a specific and well-executed aesthetic that’s made her a Love Magazine favourite and a backstage photographer for Vivienne Westwood. When it comes to inspiration, her influences are wide ranging, from the non-conformist cinema of auteurs like Peter Greenaway and David Lynch to photographers Martin Parr and Helmut Newton. Having worked extensively for free to pursue her passion, Asia’s determination is obvious: “My desire to make pictures is stronger than anything else I desire. I will never stop.”
GRETAR GUNNLAUGSSON (Brussels, Belgium)
Born in Iceland, Gretar’s main inspirations come from nature – that raw, untouched, brutally honest, untameable force. Having since lived in Belgium for ten years, which he describes as being “almost stripped of nature”, it is the contrasts of these two experiences that give Gretar an interesting perspective. Movement plays a large role in his photography, drawing inspiration from modern dance and opera and Gretar’s current focus is on nonchalance and abstract body movements.
MATILDE TRAVASSOS (Lisbon, Portugal)
Matilde takes a fairly Aesethticist approach to photography, delighting in sheer beauty. ‘I’m inspired by a lot of things but beauty itself is what drives me, my particular way to see the world defines what beauty is to me,’ she explains, having said that her vision is “feminine and pure” with a focus on the calm and the soft. This picture, of what Matilde calls a “sweet fresh gangster girl”, encapsulates her unique take on what beauty is.